Tanzania: Lugola Sacking Draws Reactions

(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli's decision to sack Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola and Fire and Rescue Brigade commissioner general Thobias Andengenye over a questionable deal with a foreign company has stirred reactions from political stakeholders and analysts.

Announcing the sacking of the two, President Magufuli said Mr Andengenye, whose entity falls under the Home Affairs ministry, signed an agreement to procure fire-fighting and rescue equipment from a Romania company without authorisation of the ministry of Finance and without Parliament blessings.

Some of those who spoke to The Citizen were critical of Mr Lugola's performance at the docket, which he took over from Mwigulu Nchemba in 2018.

Commenting on the President's decision, the national coordinator of the Tanzania Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Mr Onesmo Olengurumwa, said the Head of State was entitled to hire and fire his appointees.

"Recently, there have been incidents of abductions or disappearances since the police, who are hired to protect civilian are under the Home Affairs ministry, it might be one behind the reasons for the sacking," opined Mr Olengurumwa.

A lecturer with the Ruaha Catholic University, Prof Gaudence Mpangala, said the removal of Mr Lugola was part to enforce accountability within the government.

However, ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe faulted the reasons cited by President Magufuli.

Mr Kabwe said that the government has been implementing various projects even without first seeking Parliament endorsement.

He claimed that such projects included construction of Chato airport, procurement of 13 helicopters and purchase of aircraft.

Meanwhile, Mr Lugola reacted to his sacking by saying that he would continue supporting President Magufuli in driving the national agenda even after the decision to have him removed from the Home Affairs docket.

He made the pledge shortly after the Head of State announced the decision at Ukonga where he (the President) inaugurated Prison quarters yesterday.

Mr Lugola told reporters that since he was Mwibara Member of Parliament (CCM), he would continue to support the President.

"The President is the one who appointed me to his Cabinet, something that is a milestone for me but he has every right to make changes," said Mr Lugola.

The President sacked Mr Lugola and commissioner general of the Fire and Rescue Brigade for entering a into dubious deal with a Romanian company for procurement of fire and rescue equipment to the tune of euros 408 million without the authorisation of the Finance ministry and Parliament.

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